Arlington, VA – Today Concerned Veterans for America (CVA) released a digital ad holding Rep. Tim Walz (D-MN) accountable for his recent vote jeopardizing a crucial health care program for veterans.
Rep. Walz, the ranking member of the House Committee on Veterans Affairs, recently stood in the way of emergency funding for the Veterans Choice Program as it was facing an urgent budget shortfall. Walz voted against a common-sense, fiscally responsible solution to funding the Veterans Choice Program.
The digital ad will run statewide and encourages Minnesota viewers and activists to call Rep. Walz’s Washington office and tell him “to stop standing in the way of our veterans.”
CVA Policy Director Dan Caldwell issued the following statement:
“Rep. Walz voted against emergency funding for the Veterans Choice Program at a critical moment and chose his political agenda over veterans. Unfortunately, Rep. Walz has a history of standing in the way of VA reform when it matters most. We will make sure voters in Minnesota understand Rep. Walz’s actions against veterans’ best interests. We will hold him accountable.”
Rep. Walz voted against legislation that would have improved accountability at the VA on two separate occasions. In 2015 and 2017, he opposed legislation that would have allowed the VA secretary to move quickly to terminate employees found guilty of wrong-doing.
The Veterans Choice Program, which was enacted under the Veterans’ Access to Care through Choice, Accountability, and Transparency Act, was implemented in response to the wait list scandal of 2014. It was passed as a stop-gap measure and was never intended to be a permanent solution. Despite the program’s imperfections, Secretary Shulkin recently testified before Congress that failing to fund the program would be a major blow to the VA, specifically by increasing wait times.
CVA has proposed giving all veterans who qualify for VA health care the ability to use their benefits to access care in the private sector if they so choose while also restructuring the existing VA provider network into a government-chartered nonprofit corporation.